A Florida man became the first death connected to Tropical Storm Eta after he was electrocuted in his home while walking through standing water.
According to WFLA, the incident happened around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday in Bradenton Beach, near Tampa, when the man was walking in a storage area and was electrocuted by an appliance that was still running.
“It was an accident,” Bradenton Beach Police Detective Sgt. Lenard Diaz said. “I’m sure he didn’t realize the appliance was plugged in or the appliance was underwater and that’s what happens it’s a scary situation.”
Utility workers were called in to turn power off for the entire neighborhood before first responders could recover the man’s body safely.
One firefighter was injured while trying to access the scene, but is expected to fully recover, officials said.
“We do believe there was an electrocution in that residence, whether it was a downed power line or some type of electricity from the home itself. We did find the resident dead once we were able to gain access after de-energizing the home and the home had standing water,” Manatee County Public Safety spokesperson Jacob Saur told Fox 13.
Saur added that people should check frequently during the storm to see if evacuation warnings have been issued.
“It’s very important residents take heed of our warnings especially when we talk about barrier islands and storm surge and what can occur with storm surge and flooding,” Saur said. “Sometimes they know their home could possibly flood and is prone to flooding, maybe it’s time to get out and move to higher ground with friends and family. It’s always important when we put out those messages, residents really take heed of that and make those decisions.”
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